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Free Content An open label randomized comparison of mefloquine–artesunate as separate tablets vs. a new co-formulated combination for the treatment of uncomplicated multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria in Thailand

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Summary Background 

Delivering drugs in a fixed combination is essential to the success of the strategy of artemisinin-based combination therapy. This prevents one drug being taken without the protection of the other, reducing the chance of emergence and spread of drug resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. A lower tablet burden should also facilitate adherence to treatment. A new fixed combination of mefloquine plus artesunate has been developed. This was compared with the conventional regimen of separate tablets for the treatment of uncomplicated multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria. Methods 

On the north-western border of Thailand 500 adults and children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria were randomized to receive either the new fixed combination or separate tablets. They were followed up weekly for 63 days. Results 

The day 63 polymerase chain reaction-adjusted cure rates were 91.9% (95% CI 88.2–95.6) in the fixed combination group and 89.2% (85.0–93.4) in the loose tablets group (P = 0.3). There was a lower incidence of early vomiting in the group receiving the fixed combination. Conclusion 

This new fixed combination of mefloquine and artesunate was efficacious, well tolerated and convenient to administer.
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Keywords: artemisinin; fixed combination; malaria; mefloquine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Tak, Thailand 2:  UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 3:  Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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